11 Summer First-Date Ideas That Are More Fun Than Just Grabbing A Drink
With summer here, it’s the perfect time to date, too. If you’re looking for first date ideas in the summer, there are an endless number of things you can do. While “grabbing a drink” may be a known first-date activity, with the warm weather now, you have many more options.
“I suggest treating a first date like any other fun event, but with someone new: no pressure, no expectations, and just a chance to connect with another person you are attracted to,” David Bennett, counselor and relationship expert with Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. “So, yes, you can ‘grab drinks’… or take advantage of the summer weather and do something like rock climbing.”
He says that, if anything, an “action date” is far more exciting and interesting than sitting at a table drinking in front of a stranger and sending questions and answers back and forth. “Building an emotional connection through an exciting and fun first meeting is far preferred to what is a more traditional ‘date,’ and the summer weather provides endless first-date ideas,” Bennett says.
Like Bennett says, first dates should be full of fun, not pressure. Below, you’ll find several summer first-date ideas, so when your date asks what you want to do, you can’t say you have no idea.
1. Go For A Boat Ride
Whether you live near a river, lake, or ocean, the water provides a great summer first-date setting. "Go for a boat ride, whether it’s a paddle boat, a drinks cruise, or just renting a small row or motor boat and taking your date to the open waters," Jessica Elizabeth Opert, feminist love coach, tells Bustle. "There is something timelessly romantic about a boat ride for two." In addition, Opert says it’ll give you and your date time to chat while also offering up breaks to take in the scenery.
2. Go To An Amusement Park
Visiting an amusement park is a great go-to first-date idea for summer. “One of my favorite summer date spots is going to an amusement park, which will bring out the inner child in both of you,” Julie Spira, CEO, Cyber-Dating Expert, tells Bustle. “Going on a roller coaster can bring you two closer when you get to that scary winding part, and riding the Ferris Wheel can be romantic, especially when you’re at the top.” She says that playing games at the arcade can be fun, as well, and you can compete against each other to win a prize.
“All-in-all, it’s hard not to have a great time at an amusement park,” Spira says.
3. Take A Walk In The Park (Ice Cream Optional)
With flowers and trees in full bloom, let nature provide a pretty backdrop for your first date. “Take a walk in the park with ice cream,” Opert says. She adds it’s been proven that people think and interact differently when movement is involved.
“Step far away from the across-the-table/interview-like coffee shop date while still keeping it super casual and brief with a walk in the park and a bit of ice cream ‘cause, yassss, summer,” Opert says.
4. Take Them Out To The Ballgame
Baseball games are ideal first-date locations, and you can choose between a day or night game. “Take them out to the ballgame,” Lori Bizzoco, relationship expert and founder of CupidsPulse.com, a first-of-its-kind entertainment site, tells Bustle. “Putting on your favorite baseball jersey and cheering for your team is a perfect first-date option.”
To get to know one another more, she says you can also start the date with a couple drinks at a local bar near the stadium. “Overall, baseball games have constant entertainment that keep energy levels up, so you’re sure to have a great time,” Bizzoco says.
5. Go To An Outdoor Movie Or Concert
It’s hard to find a city these days that doesn’t have outdoor movies or concerts going on all summer, and they make for great first-date activities. “Most of these events are free, so get there early to make sure you have time to talk to each other before the film or concert starts,” Spira says. She says you can bring along a picnic, too (see #6). “Afterwards, go for an ice cream or coffee to extend the date and talk about what you liked about the film or performance.”
6. Have A Picnic
If you and your first date are planning on eating anyway, a picnic is much more creative than hitting up the local brunch spot where everyone goes. “Plan the location and picnic spot in advance,” Varsha Mathur, dating & relationship coach and founder of KnowingLuxe Coaching, tells Bustle. “Find food trucks there or pack an elaborate picnic in a backpack or basket.” She says this is not only thoughtful and active, but also allows for the date to move on to another location afterwards.
7. Go Hiking or Biking
Another great summer first-date idea involves getting physical… via a hike or a bike. Plus, you’re bound to see some amazing scenery along the way, especially if you explore an area neither of you has gone to before. You can also do this at dusk, so you can add the sunset to your date, too (a free romantic date addition).
“If you’re looking for an athletic date idea, rent a tandem bike or go on a hike,” Spira says. “Also, make sure to memorialize your date by taking photos and later sending them to each other, which will strengthen the bond you’re just starting to form.”
8. Find A Tourist Attraction
Who doesn’t like being a tourist in their own city, especially when it’s something you’ve never explored before? “Finding a tourist attraction and taking an afternoon or evening staycation in your own town can be a great summer first-date idea,” Mathur says. “Not only will it give you something to do, but it will also be enough of a distraction if the conversation is slow to start.” In addition, she says it’ll provide you both with plenty of people-watching opportunities, as well as options to continue the date over a meal or drinks.
9. Go On A Food Or Dessert Scavenger Hunt
Nothing’s more fun than a scavenger hunt, especially if it revolves around food or dessert, like ice cream. “If you and your date love ice cream, for instance, map out an ‘ice cream walk,”’ J.L. Kirkwood, Certified Relationship Coach and author of Love Is A Business, tells Bustle. “You can try soft serve, traditional ice cream, and Italian ice.” He says that this idea can also be used for other food and drink options, like wine and pizza. “Enlist your date to provide a few locations, too, so that the planning process becomes a team effort,” he says.
10. Go To A Golf Driving Range Or Play Topgolf
Even if you’re not a golfer, going to a driving range can be fun, especially on a first date. “This is also a date activity that has ample opportunities for playful exchanges, both verbal and even some playful non-sexual touch,” Opert says. “It’ll provide a huge connection and charisma booster!”
Kirkwood also recommends trying Topgolf. “It’s a twist on golf with oversized golf holes — like bowling, but for golfers — and food and drinks get served while you’re playing,” he says. “It’s a great way to loosen up and have fun.”
11. Go To A Winery
Many wineries have outdoor areas — some even with food trucks and movie and comedy nights — such as Malibu Wines in California. So, if you want a date that’s not just about the wine, look into this summer first-date idea.
Caleb Backe, health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics, says a wine-and-cheese date works just as well. “Sampling wine and cheese can be such a mental and physical turn on, with all the rich flavors and textures,” he tells Bustle. “Think about it: Food, romantic love, and a bit of seduction all go well together, so try it out!”
As you can see, there are several summer first-date ideas you can do, either from the list above or a variation thereof. The most important thing, of course, is choosing a fun activity to do with your date that will serve its purpose — helping the two of you get to know each other better.